An extremely rare lunar meteorite will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction
The lunar meteorite is classified as NWA 11789, lunar feldspathic breccia, unofficially known as Buagaba or The Moon Puzzle.
The meteorite is comprised of six fragments that fit together, puzzle-like, to form a mass weighing slightly over 12 pounds (5.5 kilograms); the largest piece weighs more than 6 pounds (2,939 grams). With partial fusion crust visible on one side, it is a brand new classification and the largest known, complete lunar puzzle. Without a doubt, one of the most important meteorites available for acquisition anywhere in the world today and, perhaps, the most significant example of our nearest celestial neighbor ever offered for sale in the history of meteorite science.
Its a highly important, world-class example of a lunar meteorite, said Geoff Notkin, CEO of Aerolite Meteorites, Inc., and star of television's Meteorite Men. It was blasted off the surface of our moon in the distant past, likely by the impact of a different meteorite, then journeyed the quarter-million miles to Earth and against all the oddssurvived a fiery descent through our atmosphere to be found in the wilds of the deserts of Northwest Africa in 2017, said Notkin.
When meteorites are discovered in remote areas of the Northwest African deserts, far from settlement or known geographic features, they are frequently given this type of numerical designation by academia.
Sometimes, nomads or meteorite hunters find additional examples of an existing NWA meteorite at a later date. The subsequent finds may be examined and classified by a different expert and given a new name or number. It is sometimes discovered, therefore, by researchers that there are two or more examples of the same meteorite known to science, but with different numbers. In such cases they become known as paired. For example, NWA 2998 is paired with NWA 7262, meaning they are both likely examples of the same meteorite fall, but recovered at different times.
A unique or unpaired meteorite is more desirable to collectors and perhaps more valuable to science, especially in those rare instances in which the single find is a very large stone. Such is the case with Buagba, or NWA 11789: it has no known pairings and is the only example of this meteorite. Considering that the average size of a lunar meteorite find is a few hundred grams, the magnitude of this offering is truly impressive.
NWA 11789 / Buagba is a brand new classification just released by Dr. Carl Agee of the Institute of Meteoritics at UNM, Albuquerque, and the type specimen (a small portion removed for study and classification) remains permanently in the UNM research collection. This moon rock is presented and guaranteed authentic by Aerolite Meteorites, Inc.
Few, if any, of the world's top museums, have a lunar meteorite that is anywhere near this in size and uniqueness, said Notkin.
We are honored to present the world's very first look at this magnificent discovery which is, without a doubt, one of the largest lunar meteorites to be put up for public auction, said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
Further highlights from the exclusive Meteorite Men Collection include:
A large, beautiful slice of the lunar surface, Northwest Africa (NWA) 8022, comprised of lunar feldspathic breccia. (Estimate: $12,000+)
Sericho pallasite meteorite large partial slice, featuring large quantities of olivine crystals on the cut and polished faces. (Estimate: $8,000+)
Seymchan pallasite meteorite slice, demonstrating the transition from an iron structure to an olivine structure. (Estimate: $4,000+)
Chelyabinsk ordinary chondrite meteorite from the iconic witnessed wall over southern Ural region of Russia on February 15, 2013. (Estimate: $4,000+)
A fantastic full slice of the Northwest Africa (NWA) 11303 lunar meteorite certified by Charlie Duke. (Estimate: $4,000+)